Author: sara8989

The First Week (Carter)

Phew! What a complete and total whirlwind the last 12 days has been. I’m still trying to get my head around how 12 days has gone by since we became a family of 4.

As could be expected, the first week has been a roller coaster of really challenging days and moments, and really wonderful days and moments as well. Taking care of a newborn is H-A-R-D, and layering all of that responsibility on top of looking after Austin and trying to keep him happy has really been a test for Matt and I so far, but I think all in all, I can say that we’re surviving, and doing our best.

Our C-section was on Friday December 27th, which landed us right in the middle of those crazy in-between holiday days where you don’t remember your last name, you eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you couldn’t tell someone what day of  the week it was if they had a gun to your head. That made things a little extra challenging for us with trying to get appointments for Carter booked, get discharged from the hospital, and manage all of the visitors in and out of our house over the rest of the holiday days.

Although I was still a little bit sore on Sunday December 29th, both Matt and I were anxious to get out of the hospital and get home to Austin. Austin came to visit in the hospital with his grandparents a couple of times, and it was totally heartbreaking for me to not be able to get out of bed and scoop him up like I normally would. I could tell that he was starting to get a bit confused with everything that was going on, and was really anxious to get home and start creating a small bit of normalcy for him.

There were two small complications with Carter that worried us a little bit, but both seemed like they could be overcome. First of all, Carter’s kidneys (which had been slightly swollen on all of my prenatal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy) needed a follow-up ultrasound to make sure that the issue was resolved. This couldn’t be booked for a few days until Tuesday, so waiting around in the hospital for an extra 3 days  wasn’t really a good option. Secondly, poor little man was not showing good weight gain in the first few days of his life, and had lost nearly 9% of his birth weight by the end of day 2.

Feeding was a constant struggle for Austin and I right from the beginning of his life, and Carter and I have had similar (and also, different!) struggles this time around. In the hospital, Carter was very “mucousy” and seemed to have a little extra fluid and mucous buildup in his little body. We were told that this was really normal for C-section babies because they haven’t been “squeezed” through contractions (lol) and therefore the mucous doesn’t get expelled the same way as vaginally delivered babies. Carter was spitting up quite a bit, and his breathing was pretty rattly and mucousy as well, which totally freaked the hell out of me. Neither Matt nor I really slept at all the very first night of his life because we were both terrified that he was going to spit up and choke on it in his little bassinet. The mucous, unfortunately, also wreaked havoc on our first few days of attempted breastfeeding because it was hard for poor little man to breathe and eat at the same time with all of that extra gunk rattling around.

It seemed like Carter was doing pretty well with breastfeeding, it really did. He was much more agreeable to trying the whole thing than Austin was, that’s for sure! Austin would scream his little head off everytime I got near him to breastfeed. Carter wasn’t at all like that, but more seemed kind of listless and distracted while we were trying to feed. Most of the time early on, he would actually fall asleep while feeding, but we had picked up a few tricks of the trade from our first breastfeeding experience (re: fail), and were hand-expressing colostrum and giving it to Carter by syringe and / or by spoon. For that reason, I was feeling pretty confident that things were actually going pretty well…until I saw the huge drop in his weight after the first day. My heart just sunk like a stone.

After the first day and a half, Carter had dropped from 8lbs 15oz to 8lbs 6oz which was pretty scary for us. The nurses did reassure us that C-section babies usually come out a little puffy and full of extra fluids that I had had pumped into me during the surgery, so  their birth weights may be a little extra inflated. But still…it was a pretty tough blow. We had a lactation consultant come and see us in our hospital room, but unfortunately for her, she really picked the wrong time to come and see us, because she came in first thing in the morning after the night that we had been awake throughout, woke us and Carter up (after 8+ hours of trying to get him to sleep comfortably), and insisted that we try to feed him that instant, even though we had just finished a feed not more than an hour earlier (“it’s always time!!” was her now famous line….lol). Not surprisingly, the session with her in the room did not go well, and she then waltzed out of the room mid-feed claiming that “oh I think he’s just too sleepy to eat right now!” and left us with a screaming baby…again lol

Oi.

Anyways, we made a follow-up appointment at the breastfeeding clinic for later that week, and kept on ploughing ahead with the discharge paperwork. Our nurse was a little bit out of it, and seemed to be very confused about everything that needed to be done to discharge us (she actually seemed to be pretty confused about a lot of things lol I can’t even count the number of things that she bustled into our room saying that she had “forgot to do”). Finally, somewhere around 4pm, we were cleared to leave the hospital, and started to shuffle our way out of there. And I really do mean “shuffle” because we were kind of just sent on our way with no mention of a wheelchair or any help for me! I ended up walking all the way through the hospital (very slowly) and out to the parking garage 48 hours after surgery!!

We made it back to our house after a bumpy and painful car ride for me, and Roy and Dianne had been cleaning our house like fiends while we had been in the hospital, and things were looking really good when we came home (much to my nesting relief lol). My parents arrived shortly after we got home as well with Austin, and I was so happy to see him and to be home with him. I found that first evening difficult getting on and off the couch or really doing much of anything, and pulled my stitches a bit at one point getting off the couch but Matt and our parents were all really helpful and pretty much brought me anything that I needed. Stairs (into our house and up and down to our bathroom) were really challenging for me too, but got better every time that I did them.

Similar to the way that we did it with Austin, Matt and I have been sleeping on the couch downstairs with Carter in his bassinet this week. We find it easier to be on and off the couch and closer to the kitchen / supplies for the immediate term, plus it’s just easier for me to get on and off the couch as opposed to climbing in and out of our super tall bed for the first few weeks as well. I think we are planning to move back upstairs to our bedroom the weekend before Matt goes back to work (gulp), and I’m looking forward to it… I’ve had enough of couch sleeping for a little while I think!

As with any newborn baby, the two biggest variables for us have been feeding and sleeping. Feeding has been a total emotional roller coaster, and so incredibly frustrating, just as it was with Austin. Although we had what I would call a decent start with breastfeeding, it’s a constant work in progress. Some feeds go so well, and I think, “man, we’re killing this!”, and others are so bad that I just want to scream and break everything in the house. I’ve been pumping again just like I did with Austin, and we’ve been offering top-ups with the bottle after every feed. Sometimes Carter takes the bottle like a hungry hippo, and other times, he can’t be bothered. We’ve been followed closely by our family doctor and by the breastfeeding clinic to monitor his weight gain, and so far I think we’ve been doing enough to keep everyone (including me) happy. He hit 8lbs 11oz by just past 1 week old, which I was thrilled by, and we just had him weighed again today (Wednesday January 8th) and he was up another 2oz to 8lbs 13oz. It’s hard for me to know how  much of this can be attributed to breastfeeding vs. to the top-ups that we’ve been giving him though…which  makes it hard to commit to one vs. the other. My nipples have been quite sore, and earlier in the week, I even had to throw out an entire bottle of milk that I had pumped because my poor nipple had cracked right in half and was gushing blood into the bottle, resulting in an entirely pink bottle. Talk about freaking out when I saw that lol… for now, I’m trying to breathe deep, and just keep on keeping on, one feed at a time. I find it overwhelming to look further ahead to our “long term” plan, so am trying really hard to go against all of my natural, type-A instincts, and to just go with the flow. Some days, and some moments, I do better at this than others. Sigh.

Sleep-wise, Carter hasn’t been doing too bad at all. Either that, or Matt and I are just used to sleep deprivation now, and can survive on 4 hours of sleep a night no problem lol our biggest issue has been that sometimes (usually during the middle of the night lol) Carter can take well over an hour to settle and go to sleep after a feed; which really cuts into the amount of time that we can sleep between feeds. He typically wakes up to feed about every 2 – 3 hours, but he’s gifted us a handful of 4 hour stretches overnight which have felt soooooo super good. Low expectations friends, low expectations. I know that this phase isn’t forever and that sleep will come again, so again, I’m trying not to freak out too much about how tired I am, and to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

My recovery has been a glowing, happy spot for me over the past 12 days. I can’t even begin to tell you what a huge, enormous, gigantic relief it is to me to have our C-section behind us, and to be recovering as well as I am so far (*touch wood*). As I wrote in Carter’s birth story, my healing has been so linear and straight forward, I’ve been meeting all of the milestones and checks and balances, my pain is decreasing every day and I’m able to do more and more each and every day. I’m almost entirely off pain medicine now (day 12), and am only taking 1 Aleve pill every 24 hours. The real challenge that remains for me is that I still have just over 4 weeks until I will be able to lift anything of significant weight (i.e. Austin)…. and really that is the biggest obstacle that we’re facing right now, because it severely handicaps us as a family that I can’t pick up Austin, or really get down on the floor and play with him too vigorously.

Poor Austin has had a tough first week adjusting to our new reality as a family of 4. There’s been a lot of things working against him: the remnants of the disastrous Christmas holiday schedule (eating, sleeping, everything has just gone out the window!), a really brutal, lingering cold, being back and forth to my parents house and being looked after by different people every day, and ultimately, a new little being to share our attention and love with. It’s all led to quite a number of tantrums, outbursts and really out of character behavior for our sweet little man, and it’s just breaking my heart into a million pieces. I would give anything to be able to pick him up, but have to settle for kneeling and seated hugs right now…when he’s willing to give them to me. Austin is really clinging to Matt right now, and seems to want as little as possible to do with me. Punishment for how much I’ve had to pull back from holding him etc? I don’t know… sigh. I could just sit down and cry about this all day and all night, but I know that that won’t help matters any, and so instead I’m just doggedly trying every minute of every day to be involved in whatever Austin is doing, to get excited about things that he is excited about, and to remind him as much as I can in every way how much I love and adore him. I’m not sure that any of it really counts for him, but I tell myself that it does, and that in 4.5 short weeks, this period will all be behind us, and he will never remember the awkward start that we had. This has certainly been the only downside of the C-section so far.

Our sweet little Carter-Bee (as I’m affectionately calling him lol) is just that: the sweetest, most docile little baby. I just love his sweet little face, and his wiggly little body so much! He’s really been so amenable to everything that we’ve put him through so far (lots of appointments back and forth to the hospital – including an ultrasound on his kidneys when he was only 4 days old! Eeks!) and all in all has made things pretty simple for us. He doesn’t seem to have the same set of pipes on him that Austin did as a baby, and has the saddest little cry ever that just breaks your heart. He doesn’t pull it out very often, but when he does, man oh man, get the tissues! Thankfully, the ultrasound of his kidneys went well, and the pediatrician didn’t notice any swelling at all, so that problem seems to have resolved itself with his birth.

Matt’s parents left for home at the very end of week 1 / very beginning of week 2, so for the past few days, we’ve been settling into our new routine as a family of 4. Matt goes back to work in another 4 days, and I’m freaking out just a tad about how I’m going to get Austin out the door to daycare with Carter in tow, and then take care of Carter all day all by myself… but once again, trying to take things one day at a time and not borrow anxiety from tomorrow. Today has enough all on it’s own 😉

Anyways – I think that that’s about it for our first week as a family of 4! I’m proud of Matt and I (more Matt than me to be honest – he’s really been a champion this week while I’ve been kind of useless at least for the first half of the week) for soldiering on and getting things done. Although the newborn phase is definitely kicking our ass, I feel like it may be kicking our ass slightly less than it did the first time around?! Carter seems happy, and I know that Austin is too (deep down sometimes lol)… so at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.

Back next week with our second week update!

-Sara xo

 

Carter’s Birth Story

I am so thrilled, and so proud to share our sweet baby boy Carter Campbell Sidders with all of you, and to document the story of how he came into the world!

In typical fashion, our birth story took a few minor twists and turns along the way, but we made it in the end! From the very beginning, before we even got pregnant, we knew that this birth was going to be a planned c-section. I’ve worked so diligently at my recovery from Austin’s birth, and am really happy with where my pelvic floor / core have returned to. I’m not “perfect”, nor will I ever be, but all in all, that whole mess is a sleeping dog that we really need to let lie, and not disturb with another attempt at a vaginal birth. SO, that being said, I’ve been all-in on our planned c-section from Day 1, and have felt really positive about the whole thing all the way along.

Our c-section has been planned since I was about 22 weeks pregnant for Monday December 23rd, which really made us laugh because this poor, poor child… he doesn’t stand a chance at a birthday party! There really was no flexibility whatsoever with the dates; I guess 39 weeks is now officially considered full-term (as opposed to 37 weeks, which it used to be), and there’s a fair bit of research that shows that babies really benefit from staying in for every critical day up until 39 weeks, so there really wasn’t any wiggle-room for me to negotiate a slightly earlier or later date to dodge Christmas (and believe me – I tried!!). So, we sucked it up, and Monday the 23rd was our date.

My last day of work was Friday December 13th, and Matt’s parents Roy & Dianne arrived that weekend as well. They were coming for Christmas and for the first few weeks with little babe as well, so the timing worked out well. This entire pregnancy I’ve battled various symptoms, aches and pains, but miraculously, as soon as I was finished work, I started feeling like a million bucks!! My energy levels spiked through the roof, the nausea that I’ve battled on and off for the entire pregnancy finally lifted, and the aching in my hips and back started to alleviate a bit as well (although my back pain was something I did battle right up until delivery – especially when walking or sitting for too long). I guess I’m going to attribute some of that to the stress of work being lifted at last. My work was just insane for the last several months, and I was at work until after 5pm on my very last day before maternity leave. It never really “ramped down” for me, so I was one happy girl to walk out the door and dust my hands of everything on December 13th, that’s for sure.

I still had a lot of prep to do for Christmas the following week, so I spent Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th running all over the GTA like a mad-woman (I told you – energy levels, through DA ROOF) to different malls, stores and errands and got soooo much done. On Wednesday, things started to get interesting…

On Tuesday night overnight, Austin woke up puking. If there’s anything more heartbreaking than toddler throwing up… they’re so sad and scared and just want their mamas. Break my heart. Anyways, because of this, I kept Austin home with me on Wednesday. We then heard from his daycare that public health had come to visit / inspect the daycare and had officially declared an outbreak of Norwalk virus at the facility.

Lovely.

Austin unfortunately had all of the Norwalk symptoms. Diarrhea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite… ugh. He stayed home with me for the rest of the week, and it was a bit of a blessing and a curse. I was so glad that I was off work and able to be with him and just cuddle him and make him feel better, but at the same time, that was the end of my crazy productivity for the week as well! I was getting a bit anxious that not everything was going to get done before December 22nd, but knew that my priority had to be getting Austin better, and so that was what I did.

My parent’s had their annual Christmas party on Friday December 20th, and Austin was mostly better by that point. We went, and I basically parked myself by the food all night and hung out haha #39weekspregnant. It was really hard for me to stay standing or sitting in one place for any period of time at this point with my back aches and pains, so I just did my best to be up and down as much as possible.

Overnight on Friday December 20th…I woke up feeling super nauseous and like I was going to vomit. I asked Matt to get me a puke bucket, but didn’t end up actually throwing up. It never dawned on me that I could be heading for trouble. I just assumed that I had eaten too much at the party, or maybe eaten something that didn’t agree with me.

Saturday morning, I woke up feeling pretty dreadful. I was super nauseous, but a different nauseous then I had had for almost the entire pregnancy. This was a “sick” nausea. All day I felt like I was going to throw up on and off, but couldn’t make myself do it. Matt and I took Austin on a little adventure downtown Burlington to get a cookie at his favourite bake shoppe and walk by a construction site downtown where there are bulldozers and excavators working (his fave lol), and the whole time I just felt like I was going to die. By the evening, I was on the couch and couldn’t even bring myself to help put Austin to bed. I knew at this point that something was up, and I was going to vomit for sure.

Sure enough, by about 9pm, I was vomiting up a storm. Normally one good vomit will make me feel a lot better, but this just kept coming and coming in these awful waves. Diarrhea kicked in shortly after as well, and that was when I realized: holy effing hell, I think I’ve got that Norwalk bug.

That Saturday night has to go down as one of the worst of my life – I wouldn’t wish that bug on annnnyyyyybody, no matter the evil you’ve done lol it was so vicious. At some point during the whole mess, I looked up (very pathetically) at Matt and said “there’s no way I can have a c-section like this!”. He reassured me not to worry about that for now, and to just survive the night.

By the morning, things had settled down, and although I was still feeling awful, weak and dehydrated, I wasn’t throwing up anymore. We phoned the labour and delivery floor at the hospital to tell them what was going on, and to ask what we needed to do for our c-section that at this point was supposed to be the very next day. I spoke with two really kind nurses, and after a few hours, finally heard back from them that they were going to delay our surgery until Friday December 27th, to give me time to recuperate and get rid of the bug. The charge nurse that I spoke to was so kind and reassured me that it was not uncommon for stuff like this to happen, and that they had had bit of an epidemic of Norwalk sweep through the hospital themselves, so not to worry. They also thanked us for calling and for not just showing up the next day, because they wouldn’t have done the surgery anyways.

I was so intensely relieved to not be undergoing surgery in my condition, but at the same time, I was also so disappointed to have to wait a few more days to meet little babe. Although our Christmas was going to be a disaster, it was a disaster that we had planned and looked forward to for several months, and we had always pictured little babe being a part of our Christmas this year. After processing the disappointment for a little while, I resigned myself to make the best of the situation, and on the upside, little babe would have a few extra days to develop and grow in utero, and that definitely wasn’t a bad thing. I also wouldn’t be recovering from major surgery on Christmas day, and there wouldn’t be as much pressure for us to get out of the hospital quickly to be home for Christmas. Onwards and upwards.

We did end up having a wonderful Christmas with Austin and our families. We spent Christmas Eve at my parents house for most of the day, then came home to sleep here. Austin was so excited about Christmas – so it was really nice that we could be here for / with him and make it special for him.

My parents came over in the afternoon on Christmas Day and we had a Christmas dinner at our place. The entire day, I was on pins and needles about going into labour spontaneously, or my water breaking, but thankfully little babe was a trooper and stayed put on the inside!

Boxing Day was all about trying to get back on even-keel after the crazy Christmas Day festivities. Nesting mode kicked in big-time, and I was frantic to try and get the garbage out of the house, and things tidied up as much as possible before we left for the hospital the following morning. Eeeks. Nerves started to kick-in big time at this point, and I started to get a little more anxious about the upcoming surgery. Thankfully, I was feeling great at this point, and ready to rock and roll in the morning.

At our pre-op appointment (back on Friday December 20th lol), I had been given instructions to take two showers prior to surgery and wipe myself down with an isopropyl alcohol solution to try and minimize the risk of infection. I had my first shower on the night of the 26th, and I actually used my breast pump for 15 minutes as well to start letting my body know that it was time to produce milk again, and hopefully get a jump start on my milk coming in. Shit was getting real.

The morning of the 27th was a gong show; as can only be expected with us! We probably slept in a little later then we should have to meet our timing, and ended up scrambling out the door about 10 minutes later then I had wanted to leave. It was probably good that we were running around like crazy people, because it took my mind off of the surgery, and it also took my mind off of leaving Austin, and all of the feelings that I was having around that. I had been nervous the entire pregnancy about disrupting my Austin’s little world with the arrival of his new brother. I’m so so excited to raise brothers, and I know that they will have so much fun growing up together, but at the same time, I figured that it would be hard on Austin to have to share the limelight and to have someone else at the centre of our universe along with him.

I picked Austin up one more time for the next several weeks (sniff sniff) and gave him a huge hug before Matt and I sprinted out the door.

Driving myself to the hospital to give birth when I wasn’t in labour was very surreal, and very different than the last time! Last time I couldn’t have told you one detail about the ride to the hospital, but this time Matt and I were nervously chatting away the whole time about everything from the Leafs to parenthood… we got to the hospital pretty much right on time, and bustled in and up to the labour and delivery floor only about 3 minutes late. Phew.

We checked in with the admission desk on the labour and delivery floor, and again I was struck by the total normalcy of it all as she breezily read through my medical information, asked me questions, processed insurance paperwork for our room…the whole time I kept bouncing my legs up and down thinking “doesn’t anyone know that I’m having a BABY today?! Like in matter of hours?!”. We finished up with admissions, and the super friendly nurse took us just around the corner to the “pre-op” room, where I had Matt take the picture below to get a shot of the “full” belly bump… I’ve been so so bad at taking bump pictures this pregnancy, so this was my guilty attempt to make up for it right at the end… eeks… 😐

We didn’t have to sit for too long before the sweetest nurse ever named Olivia came into the room and introduced herself as “my nurse” for our c-section. She was so lovely and sweet, and really put my mind at ease that everything was going to be just fine. She very  methodically went about pre-op things: verifying my information, giving me my hospital gown, getting my IV setup and fluids running and running through pre-op questions.

We had about an hour and 15 minutes to wait in the room in and amongst all of these things going on, and Matt and I got chatting about the Leafs and hockey standings, and if I remember correctly, were right in the middle of a spirited debate about the Eastern conference standings and playoff rankings, when Olivia came back into the room to tell us that it was time for me to come with her into the operating room, and that she would be back for Matt once they were ready to start the surgery.

As we say in our house: “it’s go time”.

It was a very short walk to the operating room; literally just down the hallway and through a set of double doors. Walking into the operating room, I actually said out loud “oh my god, this is terrifying!”. It looked like something out of a horror moving to me! The entire room was very stark, white and very bright. There was this tiny, very narrow little bed (that I’m sure my ass was hanging off of on either side attractively lol) with arms outstretched to the side, and these big scary trays of scalpels and scissors and other surgical paraphernalia all setup. The only thing that was somewhat reassuring was the little incubator over in the corner that indicated that a sweet little baby was about to come into the world in this room. Rather than someone was about to be dissected and sold for spare parts on the black market.

I had a seat on the edge of this narrow little bed and kicked my legs nervously waiting for more information. I hated that Matt couldn’t come with me for this part, but knew that it was my time to shine and keep my freaking cool as much as I could. I had literally visualized and practiced for this moment for months, and I knew that I needed to keep it together, or else I was going to get put under general anesthesia and miss the birth of my sweet little babe. And I didn’t want that at all.

We were waiting for just a few minutes for the anesthesiologist to arrive, and when she did, I was struck by how young (and very pretty!) she was. I also realized that the entire team of people in the OR (which consisted of my OB, Olivia, sassy nurse, a GP doctor to assist with the surgery, a nurse for little babe, and the anesthesiologist) were all women!! Matt ended up being the only male in the room (well, that is, until little babe arrived on the scene, but I’m jumping ahead of myself here ;)). GIRL POWER for all!

The anesthesiologist was very kind, and very matter of fact. She stood in front of me and explained exactly how she was going to administer the spinal injection, and what I should expect. I was totally freaking out at this point inside, but nodded along. I asked her if there was any chance that the spinal could interfere with my breathing, and she had to give me the textbook answer that “nothing is impossible”, but it was highly unlikely. Gulp.

Olivia came over to hold my shoulders still and gave me a pillow to hug while the anesthesiologist worked on the medicine. First she administered an injection that had freezing medication. She warned me that this stung and burned a little bit, and she was right, but it wasn’t anything too bad or that really affected me all that much. After that, she talked me through administering the spinal block, which I barely felt, except for some pressure on my back.

As she had promised, nearly instantly after getting the spinal block, my legs started to go tingly, warm and numb. At this point, my level of freak-out escalated a touch. I kept wiggling my toes to reassure myself that I could still move them…but then it kind of hit me that in the very immediate future, I wasn’t going to be able to move them anymore.

Enter Stage Left: beginnings of a panic attack.

The nurses moved very quickly after the medicine went in to swing my lower body up onto the bed, hang the drape across my chest, and start prepping for the surgery. The anesthesiologist stayed by my head and kept talking to me about what I was feeling, which helped somewhat. Within a matter of 2 – 3 minutes, I couldn’t feel my legs at all anymore, and probably no more than 1 minute after that, I lost the ability to move my lower body at all. If you’ve never felt a complete paralysis like this before, there’s no way for me to explain it to you except that it’s friggin’ scary. There’s something extremely unnatural about trying to move and not being able to, and it was wreaking havoc on me almost instantly. For some reason, I was super focused on the fact that I couldn’t wiggle my toes, and that was my number one concern. I probably said it out loud to the anesthesiologist 10 separate times; and she reassured me that that was completely normal, which didn’t do a lot to ease my mind.

My OB started working on cleaning my belly and other prep, and the entire time I was engaged in a full on battle against a massive panic attack. I started to feel that familiar hotness in my face and neck, and then the nausea started to creep in (the anesthesiologist said that this could be from the drugs, but I know that it was anxiety – I’ve been to this rodeo before). I told the anesthesiologist that I thought I was going to throw up, and that I was scared. She responded quickly and said that she would “take care of the nausea” right away with anti-nausea drugs. I also asked them for a cold cloth for my head and some ice for my neck. My OB at this point said that they were ready enough that someone could go and get Matt as well to help matters.

The anesthesiologist got me a small bowl for beside my face, and set me up with a cool cloth and a hospital glove full of ice (lol). Matt came into the room not more than 2 minutes later, and I was very glad to see him. The first thing  I said to him was “I can’t move my toes”… lol a combination of Matt, the ice / cool cloth, the anti-nausea drugs and some good old fashioned mother-effing grit and determination staved off the panic attack, and I started to feel a little better.

My OB started “testing” to make sure that I was completely frozen, and I told her that I could feel something sharp poke me at one point. She asked me again to tell her when I could feel the sharp prick, and I did…but I must have failed the test, because they went ahead with the surgery and I didn’t feel a thing!

Matt was a champ beside me, holding my hand,  re-positioning the glove-full of ice on and around my head and neck (lol) and just reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. I focused on my breathing, and watched the clock on the wall of the operating room as minutes began to tick by. The anesthesiologist told me that pretty soon, I would feel a ton of pressure on my belly when they were actually pulling the baby out, and I asked her how far away we were from that time. She said no more than 5 minutes, and I felt this huge enormous surge of confidence; we were almost there!

I think my OB and the doctor assisting with the c-section had a little bit of trouble getting little babe out of me (go figure – apparently my babies just don’t want to come out via any means LOL) and they were kind of tugging and pulling at various things on the other side of the drape. The anesthesiologist quickly said to me that there was a chance that they may need to give me a spray under my tongue that would make my uterus relax so that they could get the baby out a little easier. My OB made a joke on the other side of the drape that my abs were too tight to get the baby out (which is laughable at best given my current level of fitness lol), but then suddenly it felt like some progress was made, and my OB exclaimed “we don’t need it, we don’t need it!”. Not more than 1 minute later, I heard the most wonderful sound – a big, throaty cry from the other side of the drape.

Both the OB and the assisting doctor exclaimed that he was crying and he wasn’t even out yet, and they told Matt to get his camera ready for the picture! Matt stood up to take the first picture of our sweet little Carter, but at first when he stood up, he was confused because he didn’t know if he should be taking a picture of the surgery scene with all the blood and gore in the background (heh). The doctors laughed and joked that he had choked under the pressure, so they would set him up for another shot at the picture. He still seemed a bit confused so at this point I started yelping to “take the picture! take the picture!” and he finally did (he’s still confused as to why he was taking a picture of an open surgery scene LOL). I personally love the picture, it’s Carter’s first moments earthside! Matt still thinks it’s a little gruesome… 😉

At this point, I hadn’t yet seen Carter on the other side of the drape.  I could hear him crying, but hadn’t laid eyes on his sweet face. One of the nurses finally brought him around the drape and I got to see him…and I was totally overcome with emotion at how beautiful and perfect he looked. I know all mothers think their babies are perfect, but I truly felt looking at him in that moment that he was just the most perfect little baby ever, and I couldn’t believe how lucky we were that he was ours.

The nurses took Carter over to the little incubator to weigh him, do his tests and clean him up a little bit. Matt went over with them and I never took my eyes off of them. From that moment on, I completely forgot that I was wide-open on an operating room table, and time just flew. The nurses kept calling out times, and it seemed like they were trying to get through everything that they needed to do with Carter as soon as possible so that they could get him over to me for skin to skin, which I really appreciated.

Less than about 3 – 4 minutes later, the nurse brought Cater over to me on the operating table and positioned him on my chest. He had been crying pretty loudly the entire time since he had been born, but the exact instant that he made contact with my skin, he stopped crying and fell asleep instantly. I couldn’t believe it. I was very weepy the whole time (all happy tears this time!!), and just so happy.

Time started flying once Carter was on my chest. I think it ended up taking about another 20 – 25 minutes for them to finish closing me up and everything else that they needed to do, and then they transferred Carter and I over to a hospital bed, and began wheeling us out of the operating room and over to the recovery room. I still couldn’t feel my lower half at all, or wiggle my toes, and I was still pretty anxious about that, but having Carter to focus on made it all much more tolerable. I remember asking what time exactly the medicine went into my back, so that I could count down the three hours until I should be able to move again. I still had nearly 2 hours to wait!

We spent a little over an hour in the recovery room with our nurse Olivia. She gave me an injection of a blood thinning medication to prevent blood clots in my legs, but I couldn’t feel a thing because she gave it to me in my stomach, and I was still completely numb. While we were in the recovery room, we started to notice that Carter’s skin had a pretty red rash developing all over his back / arms / legs. That scared the bajesus out of me, and Olivia said that she hadn’t really seen anything like it before, but she would check with her charge nurse and have her come to take a peek at him. I was worried, but hoped that it would be nothing, and it turned out to be exactly the case. By about 2 days later, the rash was completely gone all on it’s own, and all was good.

After our time in the recovery room, Olivia and Matt wheeled us down the hall and around the corner onto the Maternal Child unit where we would be staying for the next couple of days. They initially put us in a double room (with nobody in the other bed) because the hospital was pretty full that night, but later on that night, another girl (who had had an emergency c-section) was supposed to join us in the room. Luckily for us, a single room had opened up late that night, and we were able to high tail it over to that room so that we had a bit more privacy. We had great nurses in the hospital (with the possible exception of our very last nurse, who although super sweet and kind, seemed a little fast and loose with the details and ended up discharging me from the hospital without a wheelchair lol…she was a bit all over the place!), and we had lots of help with breastfeeding, and moving around post surgery. In general, our experience in the hospital was just much more positive all around this time. I was really happy with our experience.

Reflecting on our birth experience with Carter, I really couldn’t be happier with how things all went for us in the hospital and leading up to it. Contrary to what it may seem like from the outside, our c-section birth has been truly healing for me in so many ways. I feel like this birth experience has helped me to regain a sense of control and more importantly, a sense of pride in myself for what I’ve been able to overcome to bring my sweet baby boys into this world. I feel this overwhelming sense of closure and contentness for both Carter and Austin’s births, and I feel like I’m finally ready, and willing, to turn the page on my first birth experience, and move forward with our lives without looking back. This has been something that I’ve struggled to do for months (and even years), so it truly feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. I am so, so truly grateful.

I am 10 days post-surgery today, and I’m feeling better and better every single day. My healing has been very linear this time (compared to the slingshot roller coaster that it was last time!), and every single day I’m noticing a major step forward in how I’m able to move, and my pain levels. The one really challenging thing with my c-section this time, is that I’m not able to pick up my sweet boy Austin. I’m only 10 days into a 6 week stretch where I can’t lift him, and already I know that it’s going to be a really tough go. I’m trying to stay focused on showering Austin with love every other way I possibly can, and to just take it one day at a time and focus on the gratitude that I am healing well, and will be back to myself in 6 short weeks (or less!), and ready to move forward with getting fit and healthy again, and being the best version of myself for my boys.

I plan to continue with our weekly update posts, just as I did for the first several months of Austin’s life, because I love having the detailed record to look back on (and I dearly regret not keeping up with my weekly pregnancy updates for Carter’s pregnancy – so I owe it to him and to myself to keep up with his weekly updates now that he is here earthside!). I’ll be back shortly with our first week recap; it’s been a busy one, but I’m so proud of Matt and I for everything we’ve accomplished so far, and I know that there isn’t anything we can’t tackle together.

Lots of love,

-Sara xo

A Letter to my Second Born…

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Hi Sweetheart,

I’m writing this letter to you on the night before you are born, and I just can’t believe that this day is here. Our journey together has been a wild, wild ride, and although it’s been a bit of a tough one for your mama, I’m so very sad to see this chapter come to an end tomorrow.

From the very beginning of our pregnancy, you’ve been such an easy little baby in there. You met all your checks and balances flawlessly, no medical complications, no trouble at all. You’ve gamely come along with me on camping trips in the Summer, trudged all over theme parks, soccer fields and our neighbourhood in hot, hot weather, put up with constant nausea that’s prevented me from eating as well as I should with you and exercising very much… and still, you keep on chugging along, growing and developing every day, wiggling and moving all the time to reassure me that you’re doing okay in there. I’m so grateful for you sweet boy. Thank you for putting up with less than ideal conditions in there, and for being such an easy-going little baby already.

I’ll be honest with you sweetheart, ever since the first day that I found out I was pregnant with you, I’ve been scared that I won’t be enough for you. That there won’t be enough of my love and attention to go around between you, your brother, your Dad and everyone else that we love. As we head into surgery tomorrow, it’s still my biggest fear of all. What I can promise you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I will give you the very best that I have in every given moment, on every given day. It may not always be enough, but between your Daddy and I, I can promise you that you will never ever want for love. No matter how crazy life gets, I know that this is true.

A lot of people will try, but nobody will ever love you quite as much as I do. Even though it was tough, I cherish the last 9 months that we’ve spent together, and I miss them already (even though we still have 12 more hours :)). I guess it’s time for me to share you with the rest of our family, and with the world though, and I just know that you will steal everyone’s hearts and bring so much joy to our family. You are being born to a family so rich in love and laughter, and I can’t wait for you to meet everyone; you are already so entwined in the fabric of who we are, and we haven’t even seen your sweet face yet.

I am nervous about our c-section tomorrow, but I’m going into it with the mindset of a soldier, and I am bound and determined to be rock solid for you throughout whatever comes our way. I am putting 100% of my trust and my faith in the medical team, and I know that they will get you out of there quickly and safely (and hopefully a little less traumatically for you then the way your brother came into the world!!). I cannot wait until the surgery is over, and we can hold you.

Well, it’s getting late my love, and both you and I have a huge day tomorrow. It’s the first day of the rest of our lives!

Counting the hours until I can see your sweet face.

All my love, today and always,

Your Mama Bear xo 

 

22 Weeks (#2)

Well I’ve certainly fallen off the proverbial wagon in terms of keeping up with my weekly pregnancy blog posts this time around!! It’s been on my mind, but to be honest pretty much ever since I found out I was pregnant again, I’ve been in a constant state of survival mode, and finding a few minutes to sit down and write my weekly updates has been so tough!

Since I’ve missed so much ground from the first half of the pregnancy, I’ll sum it up for you in three words:

  • Nausea
  • Exhaustion
  • Delirium

I was sick for a reeeeeeallly long time with this pregnancy, and still am sometimes, but the constant nausea is finally starting to settle down, and I’m able to enjoy (most) food again… hurray!! I never realized what a bummer it would be for most foods to make you sick, but man it was hard!! I’m very much conditioned to turn to food as a source of comfort when I’m feeling down and out, and man did I ever feel down and out for a lot of those first 20 weeks… but the problem was that food made things much worse, not any better. I’m still not really doing that well with very sweet things (here’s lookin’ at you Timbits), and things heavy in dairy (no Drumstick Ice Cream cones this time around…noooooo), but in general, I’m feeling much better and much more functional now, thank the high holy lord.

My energy levels have been a constant challenge, and still are at this point in the pregnancy. I’ve never felt exhaustion like I felt at the start of this pregnancy, it was all I could do to get through a day or to the next point where I could lay down and close my eyes. Keeping up with Austin has been incredibly tough (seriously, I don’t know what the boy runs on, cause it sure ain’t an overly healthy diet of vegetables and green juice, but he just keeps going and going and going!!!), but I’ve been doing my best to not let my slow-ass hold him back from the fun things that he wants to do.

Recently, Austin’s taken more interest in my belly and has started piecing together when we ask him “who lives in Mommy’s belly?!” that it’s not just a “BAAAAAABY!!” but “Austin’s baby brahhhhhther!!!” and it just melts my heart. I hope that he adjusts well to Little Babe (our nickname for this little man LOL), but think we could be in for some rough times as things settle into new normal once he’s born… although Austin is a total wild animal at home and with people he knows, he’s quite shy and reserved in new situations and around new people, and I think it might take him a while to get his head around a new little human being part of his world. We’ll see though, I’m hopeful that a little bit of prep work will make things easier for him… fingers crossed.

Aside from my symptoms, I’ve been freakin’ HUGE this time around compared to last time (so much so that I haven’t yet taken a bump picture… I just feel like a whale!!). I look at pictures from 22 weeks last time and think damn! I hardly look pregnant! This time I feel like I look 40 weeks already, have been in maternity clothes for the past month or more (please shoot me – the pants haven’t gotten any better), and just in general look like someone’s inflated me like a helium balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mmmmm Thanksgiving… ❤

I’m trying not to worry about it too much, my activity level has been much lower then it was when I was pregnant with Austin, for three main reasons: 1) I’ve felt like garbage, 2) I’ve been exhausted and fall asleep pretty much as soon as Austin does and 3) Every minute that I have awake / functional, I want to spend with Matt and Austin and not at the gym. I’m still teaching BodyPump once a week, so that’s my one saving grace, and am trying to do some free weight stuff at home once in a while to keep some sort of muscle tone under all this flab. I figure I don’t need to actually be “in shape”, I just need to be in the same area code as “in shape” so that I can find it again after all is said and done with my pregnancy! I did get totally suckered in to buying this fit pregnancy program that I haven’t even opened yet (seriously, $40 well-spent Sara), and maybe one day I’ll get around to doing a few workouts from that program lol

We had our anatomy scan a few weeks ago, and for the most part things looked good with Little Babe, but there was one kind of scary thing that our OB mentioned, which was that there was a bit of swelling in both of his kidneys, most likely just because his system wan’t mature yet, and the valves needed to grow / develop some more. Apparently it’s a common finding, especially for boys, but I’m still nervous about it, and hoping that at our next ultrasound (September 12th!), things are looking better and less swollen.

I’m not sure if it’s because I recognize the movements more clearly now that I’ve been pregnant before, but Little Babe seems to be soooo much more active in there than I remember Austin being at this early stage! It feels like he’s constantly darting around in there and kicking forcefully, which I always get a smile out of. Austin was less of a kicker and more of a “pusher”… he would always puuuuush his little legs against my stomach like he was trying to bust right outta there… so much so that I could clearly make out his little foot print through my skin LOL… we’ll see as Little Babe gets bigger and stronger how his movement patterns develop, but for now, he seems like very much of a “darter” LOL

This week I did actually have a kind of scary episode that landed me in the hospital on Thursday. I was at work when all of a sudden I had this crazy spell of black spots and couldn’t see at all for about 20 – 30 seconds… felt like I was going to pass out… so did the only logical thing, which was to stand up and walk outside to my car and drive away from the office lol… (I am, of course, kidding, that was probably the dumbest thing I could have done *insert eye roll here*). I drove myself over to the hospital to get checked out for any scary blood pressure issues or anything like that, and got sent right up to Labour & Delivery which was a bit scary, but they quickly checked me out once I got up there and assured me that it seemed like an isolated blood pressure dip, and that all looked good with Little Babe and with me at that point… so off I went, and onwards we go. Pregnancy is weird, I tell ya.

Anyways, the long -weekend is coming up, and I’m sooooo looking forward to a few days with Matt and Austin without having to deal with work… work has been slowly sucking the life out of me over the past few months, and I’m really feeling like I need a break these days. Hopefully the long weekends will keep me going until I take a week off in October, and hopefully THAT will get me through to December… 😀

Anyways, happy long weekend to all – hope you have a great one and I’ll see you back for 23 weeks next week (mark my words!).

-Sara & Little Babe

xo

 

10 Weeks (#2)

Holy Catfish you guys… here we go again!

Life has been a crazy, beautiful, exhausting whirlwind, and I’ve fallen off the wagon in terms of my monthly Austin updates, but I’ve also come to terms with that and the fact that we’ve been busy living and enjoying every moment (or at least most moments ;)) with our little man, and that has made it challenging to find the time to regularly update on what we’ve been up to.

To add to the chaos… Matt and I found out that we were pregnant again in April! Ahhh! It happened much more quickly this time for us, only three months of trying compared to the seven it took with Austin, and I’ve found myself back on the crazy, upheaving ride that is pregnancy again ever since.

This first trimester has been extremely challenging for me, and has really pushed me to the brink several times. I’ve been sick this time around… nauseous like you wouldn’t believe, day in and day out. Eating has been a real challenge (although I’m still forcing it all down and ballooning up like you wouldn’t believe!), and my energy has been absolutely ZERO, so most days it’s been all I can do to make it to 7pm when Austin goes down for the night, and then pass out on the couch from 7pm until Matt wakes me up at 10pm to go upstairs for bed.

While the nausea has been beyond miserable, the absolute hardest part of this first trimester for me has been struggling to keep up with Austin and to be everything that he needs me to be when I’m not feeling well and have zero energy. My little monkey is 20 months now, and he is this complete Tasmanian devil of energy! The child never stops moving! He’s plucky and outspoken and full of spunk and I just couldn’t love him anymore if I tried, but sweet mother of all things holy, he takes energy, and I’ve been in extremely short supply of that these past several weeks!

Somehow (I’m honestly not quite sure how), we’ve survived the last 8 weeks, and this week (week 10), I’m starting to feel a little better in terms of nausea / energy. As I write this, I’m feeling a little nauseous, and definitely a little tired… but not like I was a few weeks ago. I’m hoping and praying that with the end of the first trimester juuuuuust around the corner (but who’s counting? ;)), I’ll start feeling the second trimester energy wave come on soon, and I can get back to feeling like myself again.

I’ve only had one ultrasound so far, our dating ultrasound which I did around 8 / 9 weeks. Little Babe looked good in there, and was measuring right on schedule for our conception date, it’s little heart rate was a strong 170 bpm!

With Austin, I was sure from Day 1 that he was a boy… and with this little Babe, I have a strong feeling that she’s a girl. It could be that I feel so extremely different with this pregnancy then I did my first, or maybe just a mother’s intuition, but I would bet a decent amount on this one being a girl. We’ll have to wait and find out for another 10 weeks! Ugh!

I have my next ultrasound on Monday June 17th, and I can’t wait… I always get nervous in between ultrasounds / appointments, and since this time I’ll be going with an OB, I won’t actually see her until closer to 20 weeks (which just seems cray-cray to me!). The reason that I’ll be going with an OB (the same OB that delivered Austin actually) is because this time around, I’ll be having a planned C-section from day 1. My poor body is still battling to come back from the horrific experience that it endured during our first vaginal delivery, and I’ve had several doctors, specialists and physiotherapists urge me to go the route of a planned C-section this time.

And I ain’t arguing.

I’m feeling extremely positive and (dare I say?) excited about my C-section this time around. I understand completely that a C-section isn’t the easy way out; it’s major abdominal surgery and it’s not something to be taken lightly… but if you recall from some of my posts late in my pregnancy with Austin, what I’ve always craved and envisioned for my sweet babies birthdays is calm, peace and love. Poor, sweet little Austin wasn’t lucky enough to get any of that when he was born, because he came out right in the middle of a horrific battle scene, with his mother dissociating from the entire room because she was so traumatized.

I am so hopeful for this birth that things will be different, and will be the calm, peaceful environment that I so wanted for Austin. I plan to be very proactive leading up to the surgery and to do everything I can to help set me up for a smooth recovery afterwards. A lot of people have warned me that “it’s a 6 week recovery you know…”, which makes me half laugh and half shake my head, because my injury from Austin’s birth is permanent, and life-long. I’m 20 months out now and still dealing with symptoms and complications that will likely only get worse with time. A surgical wound seems like a much preferable option for me.

ANYWAYS, aside from the nausea and the exhaustion, the other thing different about this pregnancy is that I feel like my belly is HUGE already! I’m barely able to conceal it at 10 weeks, whereas I really didn’t show at all until about 20 weeks with Austin. I pretty much don’t fit in any of my pants anymore, so it’s going to be a looooong haul with those mother effing maternity pants. Curse those damned things to hell.

We haven’t told any of our family yet at this point, mostly because I’m still really paranoid and freaked out that something will go wrong. I’ve had a lot of my friends go through terrible losses during pregnancy, and I just can’t stand the idea of getting everyone’s hopes up and then destroying them if something happens. I’d rather take that burden alone. I’m hoooping to wait until our next ultrasound on June 17th to tell anyone, but at this point, 11 days away, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to hide it for much longer (especially since I’m going to be in a wedding next weekend and will be wearing a very revealing bridesmaid dress lol). We’ll see which way the wind blows I suppose, and tell people when the time is right 😉

I guess that’s about it for this week! I’m almost to Week 11 now, and have got my eye on Week 12 / 13 as the official end of the first trimester, and hopefully the start of an exciting new one with decidedly less nausea and sleeping! 🙂 🙂

Chat soon!

-Sara & Little Babe

xo

 

14 Months

Hello! Happy December!

As usual, the gigantic elephant that is the holidays has somehow snuck up on us all again, and here we are 18 days away from Christmas.

I could so easily freak out right now!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so unprepared for the holidays as I am this year, probably because I’m being run completely off my feet trying to do 4 full / part-time jobs right now, and I just don’t have a second to breathe most days. Between my actual job, teaching classes, selling Stella & Dot jewelry (a side gig I picked up because, you know, I was looking for something to do in my spare time?) and being the best mama I can be, I’ve really been burning the candle at both ends for the last month or so. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to slow down a little bit, but with the calendar absolutely jam packed for December already, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen anytime soon.

The good news, is that I’m so looking forward to all of the things that we have planned for December! We are going to get our Christmas tree this weekend at a cut your own tree farm (one of Matt’s traditions – BELIEVE me, I would take a fake tree ANY DAY over this real tree hodge podge), and I have some MEGA Christmas shopping to do this weekend in and amongst Matt’s work Christmas party and another little holiday get together on Sunday.

SO, on the Austin front, our little man continues to just be so much fun!

Walking (!!)

He took his first REAL steps just yesterday, and walked about 5 or 6 steps from the couch to his play structure, and back again! It is so beyond bizarre for me to see him teetering around in wide open space, I’m so not used to it! He still has a long way to go to be officially “walking”, but he’s definitely getting there! You should see the huge, gigantic grin on his face when he’s walking, it is honestly hysterical. He clearly knows that he’s doing something cool, and is pretty pumped about it!

I’m sticking with my initial prediction that he won’t actually “really” walk independently until about Christmas time, but it’s still so crazy exciting to see him starting! Austin has always been a little on the later side for some of the gross motor milestones (sitting, crawling, walking etc), so often I’m chomping at the bit for him to pick up these new skills so that we can get on to the next stage of fun. That being said, I think I’ve been pretty good at just rolling with it when it comes to walking and enjoying all of the fun we’ve had in his crawling / pulling up stage. Plus as my one friend told me, “enjoy the time before he walks, because you’re really up sh*t creek once he starts walking”….LOL

Daycare

He continues to do so well at his daycare, and I just couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s really growing to love his teachers, which is heart warming and heart breaking at the same time (you’re only allowed to love MEEEEEEEEEE 😥 ), but we got the devastating news just the week that one of the teachers that he really likes is actually going to be moving to a different classroom! We are so sad about this, because she really seems to have a soft spot for Austin, and he just adores her…. sigh.

We did have one incident at daycare (I had to sign an “incident report”….!) where Austin actually chomped down and bit some other little person’s finger. The teachers felt kind of bad for him because they explained to me that Austin was off playing with a toy and someone crawled up to him and stuck their finger in the side of his mouth…. so while I do kind of understand WHY it happened, we’re trying to crack down on our little Jaws biting on anything he’s not supposed to at every turn!

 

14 Months

Hello and Merry Christmas to all! We’ve had a crazy busy holiday season this year and have had a house full for the last little while, so I’m sliding in a little late with this 14 month Austin update!

Austin had such a great Christmas. He was so happy all day yesterday, and even though he was way off his nap schedule, little man kept it together and was just the sweetest, happiest little guy. Matt’s parents have been down for the holidays, and we also had Matt’s youngest and middle brother and his girlfriend and their Golden Retriever here staying with us, so there have been lots of people around to play with Austin and love on him, and in true ham fashion, he has been loving every minute of it. We woke up at our house on Christmas morning, and then made our way over to my parents house for the afternoon and Christmas dinner.

For Christmas, my parents got Austin this stand alone plastic kitchen, and he just loved it; he probably spent over an hour playing with it yesterday (not bad for a guy who rarely devotes longer than a minute or two to any particular toy!!!). It just amazes me how independent he’s getting now, sometimes I’ll turn my head and catch a glimpse of him and it just hits me in the gut that he really isn’t a “baby” anymore, more and more he’s looking and acting like a little boy. I don’t know if that makes me want to sob or beam with pride. I guess, truth be told, it’s both.

Walking

Well folks, the day we’ve all been waiting for has arrived….Austin is officially a full fledged walking baby! Go Austin!

Just as I was starting to get a teeny bit nervous that he was a little behind the walking curve, he started getting super adventurous stepping off from wherever he was holding onto and taking one or two wobbly steps before falling. He did that for a few days, and then one Wednesday when I was working at home, he took the big leap and made it a few more steps for about 4 or 5 in total. I can’t think of many more things that warm my heart more than the look on Austin’s face when he started walking. He had this ENORMOUS Cheshire Cat grin on his face every time he would step away from the couch or wherever he was holding onto, and teeter for a few steps with his hands HIGH up in the air way above his head. I die. He clearly was having so much fun with this new found freedom that he kept pushing on with it, and it wasn’t more than week from that point that he was full on walking on his own.

The daycare staff seem to enjoy Austin’s walking style too (lol) because the first thing that they said when he came in and started walking for them was “He walks like he’s under arrest!” LOL, my dad gets a good laugh out of saying that he looks like he’s coming out of a bank hold-up…”Don’t shoot!”….. you get the picture!! He’s getting steadier and steadier every day, but still tumbles a lot, especially when he gets going fast (and Austin likes to get most places he’s going FAST).

A lot of people have told me that once they start walking, it becomes even harder to keep them out of trouble, but I’m actually finding the opposite….now that Austin is walking, he seems to be more content and proud of himself, and things have actually gotten (strike me down for saying it), maybe a little easier since then?!

I take it back, I take it back….please don’t strike me down karma gods…..!!!

Testing Limits

This has really been an enormous month for Austin in terms of cognitive development too. I can’t believe some of the things that he’s started doing these days. One of the new things that we’ve noticed is that he is actually testing limits and throwing mini temper tantrums when things don’t go his way or he wants to get our attention. We aren’t totally sure where he’s picked it up from, but can’t help but kind of laugh to ourselves, as long as he doesn’t get hurt in the process. The trademark “Austin Tantrum” involves throwing himself down on his back from whatever position he’s in (standing, kneeling, crawling, you name it), and tossing his head back so that it makes a big thud on the floor.

The first few times that he did this, we SPRINTED over to him if we weren’t already beside him and made a big fuss about it, but we quickly realized that he was doing it 100% on purpose, and if we didn’t react right away, he would actually stay in that position, and just wait for us to react before he would react. Some of the things that really set him off right now are:

-Taking anything from him that he wants and can’t have (read: my purse, the remote control)

-Preventing him from crawling into the dishwasher (I kid you not)

-Not picking him up the instant that he wants you to

-Putting him in his high chair when he doesn’t want to go

What can I say, life is tough for a 14 month old!? 😉 I actually get such a kick out of Austin’s sassy little personality, he is so strong willed, just like his mama, and seeing him learn to exert himself really makes me giggle. I’m trying to toughen up a little bit though and instill good habits in him so that we set ourselves up for later on in life…but man is it hard!

Daycare

Things are really going great at daycare these days! Austin really seems to enjoy himself there, likes all of his teachers and doesn’t cry anymore when I drop him off, which is making me feel about a million times better about things, even though I still truly hate leaving him all day.

I’m so proud of Austin for how well he’s adjusted, and for everything that he’s learning at daycare. Our biggest challenge with daycare now is keeping our little man healthy. A lot of people warned me about germs at daycare, but I didn’t fully appreciate how rough it would be until we were right in the thick of it. Within about 3 weeks at daycare, Austin came down with a nasty bug, and basically still isn’t recovered from it 4 weeks later. He missed an entire week of daycare just before the holiday break because he was way too sick to go, and when I took him to the doctor, he diagnosed Austin with a case of RSV (basically a respiratory infection), and sent us home with two puffers. My poor sweet baby.

The puffers have helped a lot, and I thiiiiiiink that the end is near / here for this particular bug, but we also have him at home with us for the next week, so who knows what will happen once he goes back to daycare again. I H-A-T-E with a burning passion when Austin gets sick, it just breaks my heart into a million pieces, and it also makes life so difficult for me because I have to juggle taking care of him (priority #1A) and not getting fired (priority #9C)…..sigh.

We still haven’t done Austin’s 1 year vaccines or his flu shot this year because he’s been so sick that the doctor won’t give him any shots until he is better. I’m hoping that we can get him in to the doctor towards the end of the break and get those done, because it’s been weighing on me for a while now.

Talking

Whaaaaat?!

Austin is such a little parrot these days, it’s so super funny. His favourite words to repeat (or even say on his own actually!) are:

-Woah

-Wow

-Ohhhhh (emphasis on the drawn out “ooohhhhh”)

-Mama / Dada

-Ch (he loves to make the “ch” sound, and then beam at you with a huge grin, he thinks that sound is so funny – probably because we always make a big deal out of sneezing and go “ACHOOOOO” hahaha)

The daycare staff constantly tell us how much Austin babbles away all day, and we know it’s true because he does it here too! We all get such a laugh out of his sweet little “Martian Babble” as we call it, and I have a feeling that he’ll jump on that talking bandwagon sooner than later. For now, we’re quite enjoying the babble stage, and love getting into rip roaring debates with him over anything and everything!

I think that’s all for this month – it’s been a huge month in general for lots of things Austin related, and I just couldn’t be prouder of our little man for everything he’s accomplished this month. It truly just keeps getting better and better, even though I hate to be wistfully saying good bye to the “baby days”.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2019! I’ll be back shortly after the New Year for a bit of different chat about goal setting and some things that I hope to work on for myself in the new year.

-Sara xo